The University of St Andrews and Springer Nature
Following a year of negotiations, the HE Library sector supported by Jisc has now reached a three-year agreement with Springer Nature (with a review after year two). The agreement meets the key requirements which were set out at national level on behalf of our researchers and students. Libraries and Museums teams were instrumental in helping the sector achieve this deal by carefully evaluating the five proposals received from SN over the course of the negotiations, engaging with our researchers to keep them informed, modelling content scenarios and exploring options for maintaining access to content in the event that a deal could not be reached.
For St Andrews, the 'Read and Publish' agreement for hybrid journals achieves a modest reduction on our publishing and subscription costs and provides full and immediate open access for corresponding authors across Springer Nature's hybrid titles, including the Nature and Palgrave portfolio, which will help our researchers to meet funder open access requirements. The deal is the first open access (OA) agreement globally to acknowledge the the retention of intellectual property rights by providing a bespoke licence to publish. Crucially this means that authors can choose to follow the 'green' route as set out in our new institutional OA Policy, in addition to the 'gold' route provided by the publisher.
A separate agreement is also in place to cover Fully OA titles, providing a 15% discount on Article Processing Charges (APCs). Individual APCs are paid from appropriate sources of funds.
Although we have accepted the deal, St Andrews, in line with the rest of the sector, has expressed serious reservations about the offer, whether it is truly 'transitional', and the longer term implications of article-based charging models with commercial publishers. Jisc will carry out a critical review by engaging with publishers, funders, UK institutions, and other consortia around the world. The outcome will be a narrative report by the end of 2023, which will provide a clear vision of an open, sustainable, and equitable scholarly publishing environment.